Real average hourly earnings up 1.4 percent, May 2015 to May 2016

June 21, 2016

Real (adjusted for inflation) average hourly earnings increased 1.4 percent from May 2015 to May 2016. Before adjusting for inflation, average hourly earnings increased 2.5 percent over the 12 months ended in May 2016. Over the same period, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which is used to calculate real hourly earnings, increased 1.1 percent.

12-month percentage change in average hourly earnings, CPI-U, and real average hourly earnings, January 2011–May 2016
Month Average hourly earnings Consumer Price Index
for All Urban Consumers
(CPI-U)
Real average hourly earnings

Jan 2011

1.9 1.7 0.2

Feb 2011

1.8 2.1 -0.3

Mar 2011

1.8 2.6 -0.8

Apr 2011

1.9 3.1 -1.2

May 2011

2.0 3.5 -1.4

Jun 2011

2.1 3.5 -1.3

Jul 2011

2.3 3.6 -1.3

Aug 2011

1.9 3.8 -1.7

Sep 2011

1.9 3.8 -1.8

Oct 2011

2.1 3.5 -1.3

Nov 2011

2.0 3.5 -1.4

Dec 2011

2.1 3.1 -1.0

Jan 2012

1.8 3.0 -1.3

Feb 2012

1.8 2.9 -1.2

Mar 2012

2.1 2.6 -0.4

Apr 2012

2.1 2.3 -0.3

May 2012

1.8 1.7 0.0

Jun 2012

2.0 1.6 0.3

Jul 2012

1.8 1.4 0.4

Aug 2012

1.9 1.7 0.2

Sep 2012

2.0 1.9 0.1

Oct 2012

1.6 2.2 -0.7

Nov 2012

1.9 1.8 0.1

Dec 2012

2.2 1.8 0.4

Jan 2013

2.2 1.7 0.5

Feb 2013

2.1 2.0 0.2

Mar 2013

1.9 1.5 0.4

Apr 2013

2.1 1.1 1.0

May 2013

2.1 1.4 0.7

Jun 2013

2.2 1.7 0.5

Jul 2013

2.0 1.9 0.1

Aug 2013

2.3 1.5 0.8

Sep 2013

2.1 1.1 0.9

Oct 2013

2.2 0.9 1.4

Nov 2013

2.2 1.3 1.0

Dec 2013

2.0 1.5 0.4

Jan 2014

2.0 1.6 0.4

Feb 2014

2.3 1.1 1.2

Mar 2014

2.2 1.5 0.6

Apr 2014

2.0 2.0 -0.1

May 2014

2.1 2.1 0.0

Jun 2014

2.0 2.0 0.0

Jul 2014

2.1 1.9 0.2

Aug 2014

2.2 1.7 0.5

Sep 2014

2.0 1.7 0.4

Oct 2014

2.0 1.6 0.3

Nov 2014

2.1 1.3 0.8

Dec 2014

1.7 0.7 1.1

Jan 2015

2.2 -0.2 2.4

Feb 2015

1.9 -0.1 1.9

Mar 2015

2.2 0.0 2.2

Apr 2015

2.3 -0.1 2.5

May 2015

2.3 0.0 2.3

Jun 2015

2.0 0.2 1.8

Jul 2015

2.2 0.2 2.0

Aug 2015

2.3 0.2 2.1

Sep 2015

2.4 0.0 2.4

Oct 2015

2.6 0.1 2.4

Nov 2015

2.4 0.4 1.9

Dec 2015

2.6 0.7 1.9

Jan 2016

2.5 1.3 1.1

Feb 2016

2.4 1.0 1.4

Mar 2016

2.3 0.9 1.5

Apr 2016

2.5 1.1 1.3

May 2016

2.5 1.1 1.4

Note: The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) is used to adjusted earnings for inflation. Earnings data for the most recent two months are preliminary. These data are seasonally adjusted.

Since May 2014, the 12-month change in average hourly earnings ranged from 1.7 percent to 2.6 percent. Over the same period, the 12-month change in the CPI-U ranged from −0.2 percent to 2.1 percent. The resulting 12-month change in real hourly earnings ranged from 0.0 percent to 2.5 percent.

The change in the CPI-U has generally been less than the change in average hourly earnings since early 2013, resulting in increases in real average hourly earnings. During 2011 and 2012, the opposite was often true: the change in the CPI-U was higher than the change in average hourly earnings. This resulted in decreases in real hourly earnings.

These data are from the Current Employment Statistics program and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent two months are preliminary. For more information, see "Real Earnings — May 2016" (HTML) (PDF). Data from the Consumer Price Index are used as deflators to adjust earnings for inflation.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Real average hourly earnings up 1.4 percent, May 2015 to May 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/real-average-hourly-earnings-up-1-point-4-percent-may-2015-to-may-2016.htm (visited April 24, 2018).

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